A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
Registering for KIK requires using your first and last name and choosing a profile photo or creating a "bitmoji." You're prompted to search your phone contacts for other Kik users (you can decline, but then you'll have no one to message with; the app only works with other Kik users). A group search helps you find people with similar interests, and then you can join those groups or start your own. Once in a group, you can chat with members and send them photos, GIFs, videos, etc. A feature called "Kik Code" allows you to quickly friend people by scanning their codes with your phone's camera. The app provides a web search function that points users toward websites outside the app, and a Discover Bot feature lets them "socialize" and play games with online chat bots.
Is it any good?
In the plus column, there are no message limits, character limits, or fees, and you can send other users lots of content, but it's too easy for teens to connect with strangers. The search function helps you find like-minded Kik users and join their special interest (art, music, cosplay, etc.) groups. You can also start your own. However, Kik has no age verification and no teen safeguards, and it's too easy for kids to talk to strangers of all ages in public groups. The "Kik Code" feature makes for instant profile swap with other users and is used to connect you with commercial products. A "discover more web pages" function sends users outside the app toward (presumably) partner sites, and a "discover bots" function sets you socializing with branded AI bots. All told, despite its fun features, it's a risky choice for teens.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about QR codes and how companies like Kik use them to gather information about you. What information do you share in your profile? Is it safe to share that information?
Discuss the potential risks associated with using an approved app to download other third-party apps. What are the apps for? What kind of information do they collect?
Think about how bots function within social media. Are the bots for social interaction or advertising? Both?
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
- Skills: Communication: conveying messages effectively, friendship building, multiple forms of expression
Tech Skills: social media
Responsibility & Ethics: honoring the community, making wise decisions, respect for others
Collaboration: respecting other viewpoints
- Price: Free
- Pricing structure: Free
- Release date: October 12, 2012
- Category: Social Networking
- Size: 155.00 MB
- Publisher: Kik Interactive
- Version: 11.26.0
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 8.1 or later; Android varies with device
- Last updated: November 11, 2020
Our editors recommend
For kids who love socializing and making friends
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.